The labor market is rapidly evolving as companies rebound from the impact of the global pandemic. The U.S. Labor Department reports there were a record 8.1 million job openings at the end of March. There remain 9.8 million Americans who were unemployed in April, including more people who are “underemployed” or left the labor force.
Millions of Americans began working at home last March. Now, many workers do not plan on returning to their daily commutes, instead opting to work from home as technological advancements have made scheduling meetings with clients, vendors, and co-workers part of their daily workload. Other software has made it simple to collaborate on longer-term projects.
“The economy has radically transformed during the pandemic and that will continue, providing risks, and opportunities including productivity and skills gains because of the rapid adoption of technology and tools, including the digital transition,” wrote Mark Hamrick, Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Economic Analyst for Bankrate, a New York-based financial data company in a LinkedIn blog post.
Some employees are demanding better work schedules and opting to continue to work from home entirely or a hybrid schedule to avoid spending time commuting. Managers are seeing the benefits of having a workforce that is remote and can adapt to new innovations in tech and software.
“As workers look to the post-pandemic future, some will seek employment in new settings and configurations,” Hamrick wrote in his blog post. “Many demand flexibility to work from home when possible and optimal. For enterprises and managers, return-to-work presents the freedom to change the ways of doing business. There will be no going back to 2019 after the lessons learned during the pandemic. What changes would you like to see with your work?
Employers sought after a more skilled workforce during the pandemic as labor experts, economists and business executives discussed different ways to tackle the challenge. Some organizations proposed investing in workforce training programs via training credits or federally funded “opportunity accounts,” according to a New York Times article.
More People Join the Independent Workforce
On-demand hiring is not merely a bridge to full employment – it allows companies to meet challenges faster because they can hire professionals to meet their demands, tackle new opportunities, flex their entrepreneurial muscles, and utilize digital transformation. Remote work has helped companies realize and understand that they can pursue the best opportunities from anywhere.
The freelance economy continues to grow as technological improvements and employees seek greater flexibility in how they work. A 2019 report conducted by Gallup for the State of the Self-Employed survey for Intuit’s QuickBooks said there were 44 million workers (28%) who were self-employed that year. Gallup used federal data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau along with the IRS, and their 2019 Great Jobs Survey of over 9,600 adults.
Companies Discovered New Ways of Finding Talent
During the first quarter, Graphite’s research report shared insights on the increased adoption of the on-demand hiring model. On-demand hiring means that a business's immediate staffing needs — whether it’s for a few weeks or a year — can be met by highly skilled independent experts who are ready to join your team on-demand. You can focus on getting work done and Graphite will handle worker classification.
Companies have experienced a paradigm shift due to the tight labor market and a growing shift to an independent workforce. Hiring managers are seeking new ways to find talent and on-demand hiring of expertise has grown exponentially to fill the gap in the workforce.
Demand for Skilled Workers Continued to Rise through Q2 of 2021
The spend on hiring sales and marketing expertise on-demand rose again 768% year over year (YoY). On-Demand hiring of market research expertise also reported similar gains in spending in the second quarter, where it was up 5,166% YoY. The increased spending levels on-demand hiring were consistent across Corporate Strategy (455%) and Operations (353%) as well.
The consistent increase in spend on hiring and the steady inflow of companies joining Graphite’s platform, we feel more confident than ever stating that the on-demand hiring model is here to stay and will only grow from here.